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'Treasonous' Young Kurds and a Referendum

On September 25, Iraqi Kurdistan will likely vote in a referendum to split from Iraq's central government. If successful, the vote will be a major accomplishment for President Masoud Barzani, who hopes it will give him leverage in the Kurds' long and fraught negotiations with Baghdad. But not all Kurds are on the same side of that divide. 

Freelance reporter Kenneth R. Rosen speaks with young Kurdish citizens who have joined Iraqi Shiite militias operating to the north and south of the Kurdistan region. He interviews these Kurds—akin to traitors in the eyes of some of their ethnic brethren—and talks to their Iraqi commanders, as well as to Kurdish representatives who don't want to believe this is happening.

As the battle to retake Mosul in northern Iraq winds down and the extremist occupation ends, clashes among militias and other security forces are common. This raises the specter of Kurds fighting against Kurds. Rosen looks at the referendum—and the question of Mosul's future—as windows on what a fractured Iraq may look like in the post-ISIS era.

 

 

Flying into Iraqi Kurdistan

Lieutenant Kochar Saleh Haji, of the Kurdish peshmerga, returned to Dohuk from New York after accepting the UNESCO Global Hope Coalition award, given to ten “everyday heroes.”

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